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UW/SEIU 1199 Contract (Effective 7/1/13 - 6/30/15)
Article 22 Seniority, Layoff, Rehire

22.1 Seniority Defined. For all purposes except layoff, seniority is defined as the total continuous length of most recent unbroken state service, including adjustment for military service.

For the purpose of layoff for all bargaining units except Airlift Northwest at Harborview Medical Center, seniority is defined as the total continuous length of most recent unbroken service at Harborview Medical Center, including adjustment for military service. For purposes of layoff within Airlift Northwest seniority shall be defined as the total continuous length of unbroken service as an employee with Airlift Northwest, including adjustment for military service. Ties in seniority within Airlift Northwest will be broken using the following tiebreakers in order:

Time spent on leave of absence without pay or on the rehire list shall not be included in computing seniority (layoff or non-layoff seniority) but does not constitute a break in service.

Bargaining unit employees taking non-bargaining unit permanent positions at HMC or hourly/per diem positions at HMC will have their layoff seniority bridged but will not earn seniority while in the non-bargaining unit permanent position or hourly/per diem position nor will they be able to exercise their seniority prior to return to a permanent bargaining unit position.

Service of less than full-time shall be considered full-time. Seniority shall only be earned by permanent employees.

22.2 Military Service Credit. Permanent HMC employees who are veterans or their unmarried widows/widowers shall have added to their unbroken service the veteran's active military service to a maximum of five (5) years in accordance with applicable state and federal law.

22.3 Termination of Seniority. Seniority (layoff and non-layoff) shall terminate upon cessation of the employment relationship. Solely for the purpose of example, the following are set forth as events which evidence cessation of the employment relationship: discharge, resignation, retirement, removal from the rehire list in accordance with this Article, and failure to return from a leave of absence.

22.4 Essential Skills. Essential skills are the minimum qualifications listed in the job description for the classification and any specific position requirements, credentials, certifications or licenses.

22.5 Layoff. A layoff is defined as a permanent or prolonged reduction in the number of employees in a given bargaining unit resulting from a lack of funds, curtailment of work, and/or good faith reorganization for efficiency purposes.

Prior to implementing a layoff, the Employer, within the context of its determination of the staffing needs of the layoff unit, will minimize overtime in the layoff unit impacted, the use of agency or traveler nurses in the layoff unit impacted, reliance on per diem and hourly staff in the layoff unit. The Employer will also seek volunteers in the layoff unit impacted who are willing to be reassigned or to be laid off in lieu of the employee(s) whose position is identified to be eliminated. Individuals who volunteer to be laid off will not have a displacement option but will retain the right to be placed on the rehire list.

Employees subject to layoff shall have the right to: (a) displace the least senior employee in the affected job class within the unit or department or base; (b) displace the least senior employee in their clinical group (see Appendix XII); (c) fill any vacant position for which they are qualified; and (d) be laid off and have the right to be placed on the rehire list(s).

22.6 Layoff Unit. The layoff unit shall consist first of the employee's unit and shift, then the clinical group for the purpose of determining layoff options.

22.7 Layoff Notice. Employees identified for layoff and the SEIU 1199NW union office shall receive not less than thirty (30) calendar days' notice prior to the abolishment of the positions. The notice shall include the effective date of the layoff and a reference to the employee's rights under this Article. The notice to the union shall also include the most recent classified hire date seniority list. Upon request, the Union and the Employer will meet to discuss possible alternatives to the layoff.

22.8 Layoff and Displacement Options. The Employer shall identify the position to be eliminated and employee(s) to be affected. Layoff shall be by seniority within the layoff unit, least senior employee first as long as the remaining employees possess the essential skills to perform the necessary work. Employees subject to layoff shall have the right to displace the least senior employee in the affected job classification within each successive layoff unit as defined in Article 22.6 above (Layoff Unit) within .2 FTE of the employee affected. The employee will also be given the opportunity to fill any vacant position within the layoff unit.

An employee laid off due to the exercise of another employee's displacement option shall not have any displacement option. Such an employee shall be offered any vacant position available on the employee's unit or in the employee's clinical group and shall also have the right to be placed on the rehire list(s) per Article 22.10.

22.9 FTE Reduction. An employee in a position that is not abolished but is reduced by more than .2FTE and who will remain benefit eligible after the reduction will have the choice of staying in the reduced position and going on the rehire list for the position and FTE status held by the employee immediately prior to the reduction or exercising available layoff rights under (a) above. The employee must exercise this choice within three (3) working days of the reduction notice.

22.10 Rehire. Laid off employees will be placed on an eligible rehire list(s) designated by the employee for twenty-four (24) months. Employees will be automatically placed on the rehire list for the classification and FTE status from which they were laid off. In addition, based on employee request, employees identified for layoff may be on the following rehire lists:

  1. Positions of a lower FTE status in the classification from which the employee was laid off;
  2. Lower classifications in the series from which the employee was laid off.

The University will refer an employee from the designated rehire list(s) for any open positions in the layoff unit within .2 FTE of the position from which the employee was laid off for which the laid off employee possesses the essential skills. Employees referred from the rehire list(s) who possess the essential skills needed for a vacant position in the layoff unit will be offered the position prior to the University offering it to any other applicant. The University will refer employees from the rehire list(s) in order of seniority, most senior employee on the list first.

The University will create and maintain an Airlift Northwest rehire list and any nurse laid off from Airlift Northwest will be placed on that list. Nurses will indicate base preference for rehire. For purposes of placement of a laid off Airlift Northwest nurse on the Airlift Northwest rehire list, seniority will be as defined in 21.1. Nurses laid off from Airlift Northwest may, at their option, choose to be placed on the Harborview Medical Center Registered Nurse rehire list. For purposes of placement of a laid off Airlift Northwest nurse on the Harborview Medical Center Registered Nurse rehire list, Airlift Northwest nurses will be considered the most junior.

22.11 Rehire Trial Period. Employees placed into vacant positions from the rehire list will serve a two (2) month rehire trial period. During the rehire trial period either party may, at its sole discretion and without resort to the grievance procedure, initiate return to the rehire list. Time spent in a rehire trial period will not count toward the twenty-four (24) month rehire list period. The two (2) month rehire trial period will be adjusted to reflect any paid or unpaid leave taken during the period.

22.12 Removal from List. Removal from the rehire list(s) will occur for any of the following circumstances:

  1. If placement does not occur within twenty-four (24) months;
  2. If the employee refuses two (2) offers of placement for a position having the same pay, shift and is within .2 FTE of the position from which the employee was laid off. In such case, the employee will be removed from all other rehire lists and will have exhausted all rehire rights;
  3. If the employee was placed into two (2) vacant positions for which the employee has failed to complete the rehire trial period;
  4. If the employee accepts an offer of placement and completes the rehire trial service period;
  5. Employees who reject one (1) offer of placement from a list for a position in a classification other than that from which the employee was laid off will be removed from that list.

For nurses laid off from Airlift Northwest removal from the rehire list will be in accordance with the following:

  1. Airlift Northwest nurses may refuse one (1) offer of rehire into a position within ALNW if the position offered is not at the base at which the nurse was working when laid off;
  2. Airlift Northwest nurses will be removed from the rehire list if they accept a position within Airlift Northwest from the rehire list; if they refuse a position within Airlift Northwest at the base the nurse was working when laid off; or, if they refuse any two positions within Airlift Northwest;
  3. Nurses who choose to be placed on the Harborview Medical Center Registered Nurse rehire list will be removed from that list if they accept a position as a result of being referred from the rehire list or if they refuse placement into an offered position;
  4. Removal from the Harborview Medical Center Registered Nurse rehire list will not affect a nurse's status on the Airlift Northwest rehire list.

22.13 Other Layoff and Rehire Issues

Benefits and Temporary Services. Employees on the rehire list who follow the rules prescribed by Temporary Services will be given priority to referral to temporary positions and can receive employer paid health benefit coverage if they meet the eligibility requirements as determined by the state.

Rehire Wages and Increment Date. When employees are rehired from layoff status, the periodic increment date and annual leave accrual date will be reestablished and extended by an amount of time in calendar days equal to the period of time spent on the rehire list prior to rehire.

Employees placed from the rehire list into positions with the same salary range held at the time of layoff shall be placed at the same step in the range held at the time of layoff. Employees placed from the rehire list into positions with a lower salary range than held at the time of layoff shall be placed in a salary step nearest to, but not in excess of, the salary held at time of layoff.

Affirmative Action Goals. Affirmative action goals may be considered at any point during the layoff or rehire process.

Employees Hourly Work and Education Eligibility. Employees on rehire list(s) shall be eligible to participate in Harborview Medical Center in-service programs and other Harborview Medical Center training programs on a space available basis and on the employee's own time. Employees on the rehire list(s) shall be given preference for hourly and per diem work. Acceptance of such work will not affect an employee's recall rights. Preference shall be handled in accordance with the following:

  1. The employee must specifically request the work in advance and must follow all Harborview Medical Center policies and procedures regarding hourly work.
  2. Employees on a rehire list who meet the requirements of (a) above will have preference for hourly work assignments when the schedules are developed.

Computing & Communications and Training and Development Classes. Bargaining unit members on the rehire list are eligible to take all Computing & Communications and Training & Development courses on a space available basis upon payment of designated fees.

22.14 Restructure. In the event of a unit, departmental, or hospital-wide restructure, the Medical Center will determine the number of full-time and part-time FTE's by shift required for the new or restructured department or unit. Prior to determining the schedule, the Medical Center shall meet with the employees of the affected unit(s) or department(s) to discuss the reconfiguration of the FTE's in the unit(s) or department(s) and the new work schedule(s). A listing of the FTE's for each shift on the new or restructured unit(s) or department(s) shall be posted on the impacted unit(s) or department(s) for no less then ten (10) days. All other vacant bargaining unit positions shall also be posted on the impacted unit(s) and department(s) concurrently with the FTE list posting for no less than ten (10) days. By the end of the posting period, each employee in units or departments subject to or impacted by restructure, will have submitted to the Medical Center a written list that identifies in rank order of preference (first to last) all available positions for which the employee is willing to work.

The Medical Center shall assign each employee, in order of seniority, to positions on the new or restructured unit(s) or department(s) based upon an Employee's submitted preference list and the essential skills of the employee and the skills needed in the available positions.

22.15 Base Closure Airlift Northwest Bargaining Unit.

In the event of a base closure the Employer will notify the union and employees as soon as possible. The Employer will provide a minimum of sixty (60) days notice for the closing of a base outside Washington State and a minimum of six (6) weeks notice for the closing of a base inside Washington State.

The employees will be laid off in order of seniority using the following process:

  1. A bump pool of nurses working in ALNW positions equal to the number of nurses being laid off as a result of the base closure will be developed. The bump pool will consist of the least senior nurses working throughout the Airlift Northwest system.
  2. In order of seniority, nurses from the base being closed will be offered the opportunity to displace any junior nurse in the bump pool.
  3. Nurses who choose not to displace a junior nurse from the bump pool and nurses for whom there is no displacement option will be placed on the Airlift Northwest rehire list and will have full rehire rights in accordance with Article 22 Seniority, Layoff, Rehire.
  4. Nurses displaced as a result of #2 above, will be placed on the rehire list and will not have the opportunity to displace a less senior nurse.

22.16 Day Basing Airlift Northwest Bargaining Unit.

Airlift Northwest will notify the union and employees as soon as possible in regards to day basing and will make every best faith effort to provide provisions within reason to include a rest area, kitchen, and restroom, but will not guarantee this to be an Airlift Northwest-specific space. Airlift Northwest will make every effort to give staff 60 days' notice and agrees to discuss the impact at a JLM meeting.